Nashville DUI Attorney
Drunk Driving Defense in Mount Juliet, Brentwood & Franklin
Just because you were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence does not automatically mean that you are guilty. If you find yourself being charged with drunk driving, where do you turn? You probably know you need to find a DUI attorney in Nashville, but locating one who has the skill to help and is available when you call can seem like a daunting mission.
May McKinney is a name you can trust. Here are some reasons to choose our firm for your DUI:
- We will NOT automatically plead you guilty. Instead, we will fight your charges however possible.
- Rob McKinney is certified in gas chromatography by the American Chemical Society, which gives him insight into the science of DUI blood tests and analysis.
- Mr. McKinney holds both an instruction certificate and a student certificate (more than 64 hours' worth) in field sobriety testing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Mr. McKinney organizes the annual DUI seminar for the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
- Our Nashville DUI attorneys have spoken at continuing education seminars throughout the state.
- We have successfully tried cases involving blood alcohol content (BAC) levels of up to .20.
- Mr. McKinney is a graduate of the prestigious Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College.
- Mr. McKinney is a member of the National College of DUI Defense, a life member and president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Matters our Nashville DUI Attorneys Handle in TN
- Underage DUI & College Students DUI
- Vehicular Homicide & Vehicular Assault
- DUI Appeals & DUI Defense Motions
- DUI Blood Tests, Field Sobriety Tests & Sobriety Test Refusal
- Drugged Driving
- Multiple DUI
- Out of State DUI
- Boating Under the Influence
- Vehicle Seizure/Forfeiture
- Implied Consent Violations
Tips for How to Deal with DUI Charges in Tennessee
Far too many people think that once they are suspected of or face DUI charges, all hope of defending themselves is lost. In Tennessee, it is vital that anyone facing DUI charges knows their rights. There are also tips to help protect those rights and minimize the chance of being arrested or found guilty of any kind of DUI charges.
One thing anyone should know before they are stopped and questioned is that they have the right to not answer questions. There is no need to feel obligated to tell police if you have been drinking or how much. You can simply politely state that you wish to speak with a Nashville DUI attorney before discussing anything further.
If you are charged, the nature of a stop by police matters. Many people may not realize they simply can't be stopped for the sake of stopping. The police must have a legal reason to pull you over. If they do not, anything they conclude or gather during that illegal stop can't be used against you. The results of any testing, such as field sobriety tests, can also be disputed depending upon the specific circumstances under which they were administered.
The details of any DUI accusation can make a significant difference in how a case unfolds. If you are unaware of certain defense strategies, laws that may work in your favor and your basic rights, you may be penalized or even persecuted unnecessarily.
What are the Penalties for a First Offense DUI in Tennessee?
If you have been arrested for a DUI and are facing first offense drunk driving charges in Tennessee, you may be wondering what penalties you may face. For a DUI first offense in Tennessee, the penalties include:
- Jail time: Between 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days
- Probation: 11 months and 29 days
- Fine: Ranging from $350 to $1100
- Rehabilitation Program
- 24 hours of trash pick up
One year loss of your driver's license
- You are eligible to apply for a restricted driver's license with the installation of an ignition interlock
When Does a DUI Become a Felony in TN?
Felony DUI charges reflect that there is a record of three previous convictions for driving drunk by the person charged. In the process of forming a strong defense, an experienced Nashville Felony DUI attorney has the know-how to do a thorough check of all the relevant facts related to the current case. A conviction could result in a jail term of up to one year. Thousands of dollars in fines could be levied, as well.
DUI penalties are always subject to change from year to year.
Tennessee Drunk Driving Laws
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security states that there are up to four categories of penalties for DUI offenders. First, second, and third-time offenders all have their own brackets. Fourth-time offenders and every subsequent offense also have their own bracket.
All DUI convictions in Tennessee carry a fine based on the offense with which you are being charged. In most plea-bargain cases, the government offers you the minimum fine. If you go to trial, a jury must set any fine over $50. However, you can waive this and let the judge set the fine.
Here is a list of the fines for DUI offenses in Tennessee:
- Second offense: Fines up to $600
- Third offense: Fines up to $1,100
- Fourth or subsequent offense: Fines between $3,000 and $15,000.
- DUI with child under 18 years: Fines $1,000 in addition to the fine for the DUI offense
How Long Does a DUI Conviction Stay on My Record in TN?
A conviction for a DUI charge stays on your criminal record forever in Tennessee. Unlike other states, Tennessee has no diversion type of probation that allows you expunge the DUI conviction off your criminal record. Tennessee DUI charges that were dismissed, retired, or a not guilty verdict was returned are eligible to be expunged from your record.
Since a Tennessee DUI conviction is a permanent scar to your criminal record, it is very important you choose a skilled Nashville DUI attorney to represent your case. You want to explore every option you have available.
- Should you try to settle your case to a lesser charge?
- Should you file a motion to suppress the traffic stop or the evidence?
- Should you take your case to trial?
These are just the three most critical decisions in your DUI case. Before you decide to plead guilty, take time to consult with a Nashville DUI lawyer to discuss whether you might be able to avoid a DUI conviction.
Defenses for DUI Charges in TN
Failing a field sobriety test is not as uncommon as you think. These tests are notoriously unreliable and subjective. There are physical conditions that might prevent a person who is not considered to be legally intoxicated from passing these tests. Breath and blood tests might also not be as reliable as officials claim since equipment can malfunction and personnel can make mistakes.
Even before you are subjected to these and other tests, a police officer must have probable cause to make the traffic stop. If it can be proved that there was no such cause, any actions that took place thereafter might not be admissible in court. You also are not obligated to answer any of an officer's questions at the scene. This is your right, and you are entitled to exercise it.
Contact Our Nashville DUI Attorneys
May McKinney delivers experienced DUI defense representation to drivers in Nashville and across Tennessee. DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) are serious offenses that can carry heavy fines, license suspension, and imprisonment if you are convicted. Defense strategies are also highly technical in nature, but our team has the experience and skill to effectively counteract improperly obtained or performed field sobriety tests, breath tests, and blood tests.
When you work with our Nashville DUI lawyers, our legal team will look at your arrest, the evidence, and your charges from all angles to develop a defense strategy designed to minimize the negative consequences to you. Have questions about your case? Find our DUI FAQ here!
“Rob McKinney did an exceptional job! Not only did he get the best outcome possible for my case, he had skilled knowledge to answer ...”- Very Satisfied Client
“Best defense lawyer in the middle Tennessee area”- Daniel Himes
“I could not be more satisfied with the outcome McKinney Law produced.”- Jason B.